For a small-stream angler, the video below serves as an excellent reminder of the need for cast economy. As Dave Jensen demonstrates in the video, keeping your elbow tight might seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to keep your backcast from getting caught on willows or alders behind you, but it really works best, simply because it limits the distance of your backcast and prevents you from getting caught in the brush you’re trying to avoid.
In tighter cover, lifting the elbow to a 90-degree angle can help even more—this fixed-arm steeple cast will keep you from raising both your arm and shoulder, which leads to an extended backcast that will, in time, get caught in the brush behind you. Take a look … and practice. You’ll be ready by the time your local small stream is ready to fish.
— Chris Hunt